Choosing the best school backpack
Is your child’s backpack weighing them down? These days, kids are looking like pack mules as they cart school books, supplies and lunches from home to school and back again. As a result, kids can get headaches, back pain and other health issues from a bad backpack. Tampa pediatric orthopedic surgeon David Siambanes will give a free talk Aug. 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. on how to select and use a back pack. The talk is free, but you have to call (855) 269-3666 to register. It will be held at St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Medical Arts Building auditorium, 3001 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa.
If you can't make that talk, check out these tips All Children's Hospital. Among them:
- The back pack should have wide, padded shoulder straps, and the "back" of the pack (the part that rests on your student's back) should be well padded. Ideally, the backpack should have a waist strap that fastens in the front. This helps even out the weight of the pack
- Use both shoulder straps. Wearing a backpack on just one shoulder may strain muscles or increase curvature of the spine.
- Keep it relatively light. Backpacks shouldn't weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of total body weight. Parents or students can talk to teachers about ways to lighten the load.
- Keep the straps pretty tight. The bottom of the pack should fall 2 inches above the waist, and the pack should be relatively close to the body.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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